Hummers and mites?

Joined: August 6th, 2016, 9:03 pm

August 6th, 2016, 9:34 pm #1

I live in Middle Tennessee and this year have five times the hummingbirds as last year. I have 30+ Ruby Throats that use my 6 feeders. It's been going well this summer other than using a whole lot of sugar by making 36 cups of juice every other day!

Today when I went to get the feeders to take them in and clean; I happened to see some movement. There were hoards of tiny (like grain of sand size) bugs all over the seam where the bottom of the feeders go together.

I have ant moats and make sure and keep them full ALWAYS. So either these buggers can swim or they are coming in on the birds themselves. Is that a possibility? I've feed hummers for 4 years now and this is a first. (Never had this many birds ever either!)

Sprayed them with soapy water and they croaked (not the birds, the bugs). So I got the feeders all cleaned and refilled but the problem is: I DO NOT DO CRAWLY BUGS. I sure hate to take the feeders down with such a nice flock coming in but I can't spend even more time on these feeders. Refilling every other day is too much, let alone having to soap spray the feeders down and clean them outside with soapy water before I can take them in to micro clean them.

Anyone have any idea? I've got to find a way to kill/or thin those things down while there is still juice in the feeders. I hear hummers don't like soapy water.

Joined: June 16th, 2013, 6:15 pm

November 15th, 2017, 6:35 pm #2

They are mites. They crawl off the flowers onto the hummers beaks and crawl up inside the hummers nasal passages when they fly off. When they stop for a feed at the next flower, they crawl out and breed with the other mites that crawled off other hummers.

Hummingbirds are mite busses.

I don't know if you've ever seen them "wiping" their beaks on tree branches? They are wiping off the mites. They are all over the hummers, flowers, feeders. Sorry if that freaks you out. You should probably never look at your arm with a magnifying glass!
S.C. PA "The Shire"
Zone 6b/7a